With immense sadness, we announce the passing of John August Thomas at 65 years of age. Born March 9th, 1957 in Sudbury, Ontario, John laid his burden down after an absolutely fearless journey through glioblastoma brain cancer on March 13th, 2022 in Brockville, Ontario.
Predeceased by his parents Romeo “Duke” and Muriel (Hill) Thomas and his brother Michael, John leaves behind his beloved wife Penny (Mcphee), daughters Leslie (Lucas) Panoulias, Julie (Jonathan) Nason, son Matthew Thomas and grandchildren Claire, Lexie, Thomas, Camden and Carlie. He also leaves to mourn his passing, his sister Susan Thomas and brother Ted (Cheryl) Thomas.
John grew up in Capreol, Ontario before the call of the oil sands drew him and his wife to Fort McMurray, Alberta in 1979 where he took a job as a welder for Syncrude Canada. When he retired in 2012, it was as the mine mobile maintenance manager and with the same respect and admiration of his peers that he had for each of them.
John’s life was exactly what he wanted it to be. A driven, straightforward and intelligent man, he was constantly moving in the direction he wanted to go. John earned his MBA in his 30s, became a private pilot, built a family cottage and did his own renos. There was never a time when the smell of saw dust, welding fumes and engine oil didn't hang in the air of his garage. He could be found almost any weekend working on a project, be it the completion of a basement, the construction of a deck, tinkering with his project Mustang, or even the important business of monitoring the smoker as it cooked his latest catch of fish. In retirement, John moved with Penny back to Ontario, to the North Frontenac region where he built their dream log home, of which he was immensely proud.
Those that knew him remember his genuine smile, his hearty laughter, his quick wit and ever present, sarcastic sense of humour. They remember the absolute pride he had for his loving family, who accompanied him on adventures great and small. His family remembers long drives through the mountains, movie nights, the importance of the Beach Boys whilst out in the boat and Elvis on Christmas morning, conversations on physics at the table, midnight donuts, kitchen dances, and how most spiders they needed rescuing from were promptly named Herman or Ziggy Radishack.
Restaurant chefs will remember him as the man who ordered waiver-requiring numbers of hot peppers in his foods, anyone attempting to call his phone will remember hearing “Yello?” instead of “Hello?” and cashiers everywhere will remember his answers of “OK” to simple A or B questions.
Of all the lessons taught to those who knew and loved him, John would want this to be remembered above all. Treat others with kindness, respect and offer to share your happiness. It costs nothing, is worth the most and means everything.
We’ve got this, Dad.
There will be no service for John but a celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in his honour.